Arizona sued the Biden administration on Tuesday over President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates, which affect federal employees as well as private businesses with more than 100 employees.
It’s the first lawsuit against a policy that Republicans have criticized as an example of federal overreach.
“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement.
Last week, Biden announced the measures, which require federal employees and private-sector workers in businesses with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or take a COVID test on a weekly basis as part of a virus-fighting strategy.
“We’ve been patient but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said from the White House. “This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you,” Fox News reported.
The mandate, which is expected to affect up to 100 million Americans in a variety of occupations, including health care, has a direct impact on the private sector. Republicans have labeled the move a “unconstitutional” act of federal coercion that should be challenged or opposed.
What are key points of the Arizona lawsuit?
In a release, Brnovich argued that the administration’s vaccine mandate “is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberties, principles of federalism, and separation of powers ever attempted by an American President.”
The attorney general’s office also claimed that the vaccine mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens.
“The Biden Administration allows migrants to decline the vaccine, protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens,” the office said.
“There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border,” Brnovich said.
“Although the precise contours of the federal vaccination mandates are not yet clear, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause is already evident and egregious,” the brief says. “In a nutshell: unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States (where most will remain), while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements.”
“This reflects an unmistakable — and unconstitutional — brand of favoritism in favor of unauthorized aliens,” it says.
Brnovich said that even though the federal rules aren’t yet written, the lawsuit is valid because it seeks to declare that the federal government doesn’t have the authority to create such rules.
The detail of the Arizona lawsuit is here.